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Tibetan Opera Aims to Become UNESCO Masterpiece

China is working hard to seek the approval of UNESCO to have age-old Tibetan Opera listed as a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity".


"Tibetan Opera enjoys great fame both at home and overseas with its unique artistic style and value," said Hu Shi'an, vice-president of the Academy of Arts of China, at a national symposium on Tibetan Opera that opened in Lhasa Monday.


Tibetan Opera had toured Japan, the United States and other countries and was seen as a treasure of Chinese ethnic art, he acknowledged.


Tibetan Opera, a unique ethnic art in China, features singing, dancing and folk ballad dialogue. It has been popular and enduring for more than six centuries in Tibet, southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, northwest China's Qinghai and Gansu provinces, and India, Bhutan, and some other countries and regions with ethnic Tibetan populations.


The ongoing symposium will make academic preparations for Tibetan Opera to be listed as a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


UNESCO considers intangible heritage, including oral traditions, traditional music, dances and folklore, as important cultural heritage for all humanity. It proclaimed Kunqu Opera, the oldest opera tradition with a history of over 1,000 years, a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2001. However, no ethnic art tradition has been honored since.


(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2003)

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